(WEHT) – The Boston Marathon is back this year in its regularly scheduled date, the first time since before the pandemic. Thousands of people will be lined up ready to race, and an Indiana native will be right there with them.

Josh Holley grew up in Columbus, Indiana and is a business school graduate from Purdue University. Currently he is prepping for the biggest race yet. He has already run in five marathons, qualifying for the Boston Marathon in the fifth.

“I feel amazing about doing this event because I proved to myself that I could be here by running under three hours in a marathon,” said Holley. “So it’s one of the greatest feelings.”

Holley was born with developmental problems, later diagnosed as being on the Autism spectrum. He has gone through 17 operations at several hospitals, including Riley Children’s Hospital. At age 13, he had a pectus carinatum correction and the removal of a non-cancerous mass from his heart and lungs. With doctors recommending that he doesn’t compete in contact sports, he took up running.

“I’ve trained for Boston for a very long time. I’ve tried to run 10 miles every single day and some days I’ve done 20.”

Holley has competed in several competitions, including many for the Special Olympics. Throughout all of his races, he couldn’t get the Boston Marathon off his mind. He says he was disappointed in himself in his fourth marathon when he came in at just over three hours. So he was determined to make the cut.

“I did a 26 miles in two hours and 53 minutes and 55 seconds which ended up being the fastest Special Olympics qualifier and which I believe to be fifth in the world. And now I’m here.”

After checking this off his bucket list, he has plenty of other goals next in line

“Believe it or not, I want to try out for survivor. There are a lot of people find that to be a joke but I’m serious. Then I’ll write about me getting my way to Boston. And maybe I’ll get to Boston again one day after this. Never know ’til you try.”